Selected examples by historic California artists


Peter Krasnow (1886‑1979)

The River, 1959


 Oil on pressed board, 24 x 16 in.


A painter of Geometric Abstractions but not a member of the Abstract Classicists was Peter Krasnow.  Immigrating to America in 1907, like many Jewish artists of the Russian pogroms who were persecuted, his early paintings depicted humanity’s downtrodden.   “World War II and the Holocaust prompted him in other directions.  Putting together his admiration for Mondrian with his desire for structure in a chaotic world, Krasnow created his ‘K-series’ paintings.  (‘K’ is the first initial of his last name and the numbers represent the sequence of the paintings.)  By arranging pure lines and rectangles, Krasnow was able to create his own well-ordered ‘world.’ … Like any ‘classic’ composition, this work exhibits balance, stability, control, organization, and equality.  It betrays its California origins, however, in its quixotically joyous, springtime pastel colors, including yellows, greens, pinks, lavenders, and baby blues.” (from California Art: 450 Years, p. 399)

Provenance: Vallejo Teater (Church of the Dawn) to whom works were given by artist (or they were part of Grace Clements estate which Teater inherited or which was given to the church); Jan's Collection, Pasadena; Carnegie Museum of Art, Oxnard.

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